Former sports minister slams ZC April 29, 2008

Cricket an extension of worst aspects of Mugabe's regime - Hoey

Cricinfo staff

Kate Hoey: 'Zimbabwe cricket is an extension of the worst aspects of Mugabe's regime' © Getty Images
Kate Hoey, the former sports minister and the chair of the UK's all parliamentary committee on Zimbabwe, has called on the government to renew attempts to obtain a copy of the independent forensic audit commissioned from KPMG by the ICC.

The audit, which the ICC executive board voted not to release, is believed to have been unsuccessfully requested by the government last month. David Morgan, the ICC's president-elect, revealed at the weekend that Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, was one of those on the ICC executive that voted not to make the report public.

Speaking in a debate on Zimbabwe in the House of Commons, Hoey, who is also a honorary vice-president of Surrey, renewed her demands that Peter Chingoka, Zimbabwe Cricket's chairman, not be allowed to enter the country.

"[Robert] Mugabe is a ZCU patron, and Chingoka and managing director, Ozias Bvute, are both deeply implicated in the financial corruption that props up the regime," she said. "Through cricket, they have access to hard currency, which they misuse to exercise corrupt patronage in collaboration with the bigwigs of Zimbabwe's ruling party.

"At international matches Chingoka uses the VIP pavilion to host the ZANU-PF politicians, CIO operatives and senior army officers on whom he relies for protection.

"Zimbabwe cricket is an extension of the worst aspects of Mugabe's regime. Those of us who care for Zimbabwe and cricket in particular, or human rights and sport in general, must do all we can to support the prime minister's proposal to ban the Zimbabwean cricket team from touring in the UK. I hope the [foreign] minister will confirm that no UK visa will be given for Chingoka to come here to attend any ICC meetings, or for any other reason, in the next few months."

The minister did not respond to the questions but it is likely Hoey will seek a formal answer in the coming days.